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Durban filmmaker takes Best SA Documentary Award at DIFF2019

KwaZulu Natal based film-maker, Nicole Schafer’s Documentary Buddha in Africa, took the award for Best SA Documentary at this year’s DIFF2019 Film Awards, automatically qualifying the movie for consideration for an Oscar nomination.

The film, which was initially pitched at Durban FilmMart, was announced as the winner of the prestigious SA documentary award, the second time in concurrent years that a KZN film-maker has taken this honour.

The 40th  Durban International Film Festival announced its winner at its awards ceremony last night (23 July) at the Elangeni Hotel after three jury teams, had deliberated earlier than usual over the film in the competition section.

DIFF is included as a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences. This means that both the winners of the Best Documentary For Sama and Best SA Documentary Buddha in Africa, automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination.

A total of 19 awards were given out at the ceremony:

Best Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award at DIFF 2019For Sama directed Edward Watts and Waad al-Kateab

Artistic Bravery: Letters Of Hope directed by Vusi Africa

Best CinematographyDivine Love directed by Gabriel Mascaro

Best Editing: Cronofobia directed by Francesco Rizzi

Best ScreenplayLes Misérables directed by Ladj Ly

Best Short FilmAcid directed by Just Philippot

Best African Short Film: Brotherhood directed by Meryam JoobeurThe film also received a cash prize of R20, 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.

Best South African Short Film: Miracle directed by Bongi Ndaba. The film received a cash prize of R20,000 from the Gauteng Film Commission.

Best Actor: Bongile Mantsai for Knuckle City directed by Jahmil X T Qubeka

Best Actress: Nisrin Erradi for Adam directed by Maryam Touzani  

Best Documentary: For Sama directed Edward Watts and Waad al-Kateab. The film received a cash prize of R25, 000.

Best South African Documentary: Buddha in Africa directed by Nicole Schafer The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R25,000.

Best Direction: Divine Love directed by Gabriel Mascaro

Best South African Feature Film: Back of the Moon directed by Angus Gibson The film received a cash prize of R25,000.

Best Feature Film: Les Misérables directed by Ladj Ly.  The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R50,000.

DIFF Legacy Award: Peter Rorvik

DIFF Legacy Award: Roz Sarkin and Moosa Moosa

DIFF Legacy Award: Julie Frederikse and Madoda Ncayiyana

The features jury were Emrah Kilic (Turkey), Diarah N’Daw-Spech (USA), Laurence Boyce (UK), Diana Keam (South Africa) and Mohammed Siam (Egypt). In the documentary jury were Patricia Van Heerden (SA), Florian Weghorn (Germany), Tracy Clayton (UK/SA), Rehad Desai (SA) and Ziyanda Macingwane (SA). The short film jurors were Jaime E. Manrique (Colombia), Silas Miami, (Kenya), Jacintha De-Nobrega (SA),  CJ Obasi (Nigeria) and Mpho Ramathuthu (SA).

The festival continues until Sunday, 28 July at various venues around Durban.

See ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za for more information and the programme.

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